He does, however, approve of his son returning the ring to its original owner, retired Chicago Bears defensive tackle William "The Refrigerator" Perry, who has struggled in recent years with a debilitating disease and, according to ESPN, alcoholism.
Perry captured fans' hearts in the mid-'80s, when he catapulted to sports fame with the Bears. But off the field, Perry was putting away six-packs with remarkable ease and gaining weight as well. After Super Bowl XX his career declined, and he retired in 1994. At some point over the years, he sold the ring.
Three years ago, Perry was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder arising when the immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. Cliff Jr.'s mom, Tracy, also suffers from an immune disorder, multiple sclerosis. When Cliff learned about the fate of his new ring's former owner, he was touched.
Tracy and Cliff made multiple phone calls and finally, last weekend, Cliff and Cliff Sr. flew from Pittsburgh to Chicago for an autograph session with Perry. Cliff finally returned the ring to the Fridge who, Cliff told ESPN, "looked really happy" and "said 'thanks.'"
Cliff began collecting sports memorabilia five years ago after his uncle, Tracy's brother, died in a car accident. Cliff inherited his uncle's childhood card collection, and he's been hooked on collecting ever since.
Though not thrilled by the original purchase, Cliff Sr. spoke proudly of his son's selfless act.
"He said he wanted to give it back to him. He deserved it. He only won one Super Bowl. I thought that was a great, great thing," Cliff Sr. told KDKA.
Perry gave Cliff two autographed jerseys and cards as thanks. After the exchange, Cliffs junior and senior caught a Pirates-Cubs game at Wrigley Field before returning home to Pittsburgh.
Editor's Note: At least one website, SportsCollectorsDaily.com, has suggested the ring is not an original, but rather a sales sample.